Sunday, 8 September 2013

Chic Beauty is changing to.....The Beauty Apothecary








Hi everyone,

Just an update on my new blog, which will be called The Beauty Apothecary.  The website is still a work in progress, however I have now changed all of my social media accounts to reflect the name (below).  

Until the new website is up and running, I will continue to post beauty product swatches and news on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.  And of course, once the new website is up, you will be the first to know!

All of my posts from Chic Beauty will also be available to read on the new site.

Thank you!
Sophie xoxo



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UPDATE NOVEMBER 2013:  Apologies that I am taking a bit of time getting my new site up and running - it is taking a big longer than expected.  Thank you for your patience!

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Follow The Beauty Apothecary:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thebeautyapoth
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebeautyapothecary
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/thebeautyapoth/



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**NOTE TO SPAMMERS** Please do not spam my blog or this blog post.  I am still actively monitoring and using this site.  Any spam posts will be deleted.

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Thursday, 15 August 2013

AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM CHIC BEAUTY




will be saying goodbye!




Dear readers,

I have decided to retire Chic Beauty Blog from the beauty blog world.  Over the past 2 years, I have enjoyed bringing beauty product reviews and swatches to readers on this blog, and I hope that everyone has enjoyed reading my blog posts and finding them useful.  However I have decided to take a break from beauty blogging and re-think the direction of my blog.

BUT...

I am planning to return to beauty blogging in the near future - I have a new website in the works, with a new name and a new look, and with more content - not just reviews, but also beauty news and trends.  

I feel that this blog is currently not geared to grow in the direction that I would like.  In particular, I would like to expand on the brands that I work with, so that I can bring you more timely information about more beauty brands, products and beauty news.  

After tying up some loose ends on here, I will be working to get my new site up and running, and I will also be moving most of the posts from Chic Beauty over to my new site, so that readers still have access to the reviews and swatches on here.  So you will slowly see posts disappearing from this site.  

As soon as the new site is ready, I will post an update here & also on Twitter and Facebook.  All of my social media accounts will remain the same, but they will eventually reflect the name change.  

As always, I appreciate any feedback from readers, and would love to hear how I can make things better for you the reader.

Thank you so much to everyone who has followed and supported by blog, from all over the world.  I really appreciate it!

Please stay tuned for updates very soon!

Sophie xx



Sunday, 11 August 2013

Scunci Hair Accessories Review & Spring Hair Trends

As mentioned in a previous post here, I need all the help I can get when it comes to styling my hair and wearing it up.  Although my hair strands are thin, I have lots of hair (and it's heavy), and I find that when I wear it up, it tends to never sit in place - I always get rogue bits of hair slipping out or going in another direction.  So I am always using hair accessories such as clips and good quality elastics to try and keep things in place.

Scunci have a great range of hair accessories to help create various hair looks.  In this blog, I have for review the Scunci Bobby Pins, No Damage Hair Elastics and also the Pin Twirls, as well as some tips from the Scunci styling team on how to create some spring-inspired hairstyles.

Scunci Bobby Pins






















These are slightly different to the other types of bobby pins that I've used.  They are a bit wider at the top, and also more lighter.  I found that they didn't dig into my scalp like some other bobby pins, and I didn't get that tight pulling sensation either.  However I found that they held better on larger sections of hair, rather than smaller/thin sections.


Scunci Bobby Pin (top), other brand (bottom)













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Scunci No Damage Hair Elastics

















I recently ran out of my snagless/metal-free hair elastics, and I could only find elastics with the metal on them.  I hadn't used them for a while, so I thought - I don't remember them being that bad.  Umm...I don't have a good memory!  So trying out these Scunci No Damage Hair Elastics was a relief - no pulling or hair getting caught on any metal!  They are also nice and soft and easy to work with.

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Scunci Pin Twirls

















I have seen these pin twirls on Youtube and other blogs, and seriously didn't think that they would work for my hair.  I didn't even think that once I had put them in my hair, that my hair had any chance of staying like that for even 5 seconds - but surprisingly, it did, and stayed in place for hours.  The Scunci Pin Twirls come in a pack of 3, and have instructions on the back.























The pin twirls enable a bun to be created without the use of any elastic bands or other clips.  You pull the hair together and then twist it into a bun, tuck the ends of the hair in, then twist one pin twirl from the top and one from the bottom.  It's just like twisting a cork screw - they twist in easily, and they are removed by twisting them in the opposite direction, which is also easy to do.  None of my hair got caught or pulled in either process.  

The only thing I found was that I couldn't really control the ends of my hair - they just wouldn't stay tucked in, but this could easily be fixed with a bobby pin.  Sorry that I couldn't get a decent photo - I tried a couple of different cameras, but I couldn't capture it very well (having dark hair doesn't help!).  But I got a really nice looking bun which stayed in place without flyaways, and didn't cause that tight feeling that elastic bands can.  I needed a couple of attempts to get it right, but it worked well when I did.





Inspiration & tips from the team at Scunci:

BRING IN THE NEW SEASON WITH THE HOTTEST HAIR TRENDS FOR SPRING

While we can't actually make the warm weather arrive sooner, we can definitely prep ourselves for the trends of the Spring season.  The styling team at Scunci walk us through 2 key styles:

Super Straight Hair

Say goodbye to high buns and tight hair.  Be free this spring and go super straight.  As seen on the runways of Michael Kors and Balenciaga, this style is simple, elegant and super easy.


How to:
Start the look by twisting two strands from the front of your super-straight locks and secure them at the back of your head with Scunci's No Slip Grip Spit Bobby Pins.  Add a unique touch to the style by placing a skinny headband just above the twists for something different - try the Skinny Headbands from Scunci, the patterned style looks especially cool.





The Low Bun

The low bun is effortlessly elegant, versatile and easily interchangeable as a day to night style.  This new trend is the prettiest way to embrace the spring season, Jennifer Lawrence style.



How to:
Start with dry clean hair and pull your locks into a low ponytail, using Scunci's No Damage Elastics.  Leave some loose pieces around the face to soften the look.  To give the style a dramatic look, simply braid your hair.  Loop the hair around itself to create a loose low bun.  Fasten the bun securely and easily using Scunci's Pin Twirls, and spritz with some hairspray for a lasting glamorous look!






Prices: 
Scunci’s 6pc No Slip Grip Split Bobby Pins: $8.95
Scunci 3pc No Slip Grip Skinny Headbands: $8.95 
Scunci 18pc No Damage Elastics: $7.95
Scunci Pin Twirls: $9.95.

Stockists: Priceline, Big W, Target & selected Salons & Pharmacies Australia wide. Scunci Styling Tools are also available from David Jones nationally.

Official website: www.scunci.com.au


These products were generously provided for consideration, and has been reviewed in accordance with Chic Beauty's Disclosure Policy.  All thoughts and opinions expressed are the author's own.





Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Hair product picks - Winter 2013

Continuing on this series of blog posts on my product picks for the season, this post is focused on hair products which have caught my eye recently.  Again, I haven't tried all of these, so would love to hear your thoughts on these products if you have tried them.


Hair Care, Treatment & Styling Products

With my massive struggles with eczema and dermatitis on my scalp this winter, I am staying away from anything with sulfates - both SLS and SLES.  I have been alternating between two different shampoo & conditioner brands - Silk Oil of Morocco and David Babaii.


Interestingly, I have oily hair with drier ends, so I never thought that I would ever use a hydrating shampoo.  If anything, I thought that they would make my hair oilier.  However, I have been proven wrong with both of these brands - none of them left my scalp oily.  If anything, I have better volume and better control of my hair.

Silk Oil of Morocco Intense Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner
variable prices, TVSN and oilofmoroccoshop.com.au




















This Australian brand is producing some great quality products, including this shampoo & conditioner, which have been a great help over winter.  Look out for my full review soon.

All the info from Silk Oil of Morocco

Silk Oil of Morocco Intense Moisture Shampoo is a gentle cleanser that leaves your hair feeling luxuriously sleek and smooth with its combination of oil balancing Argan Oil and moisture retaining Macadamia Nut Oil. Its sulphate-free formulation works in synergy with these precious oils to ensure there is no harshness, stripping or drying of the scalp. The ultimate hair treatment in your home.


Silk Oil of Morocco Intense Moisture Conditioner thoroughly softens and hydrates the hair and its natural formulation ensures maximum protection for your hair and scalp. The combination of oil balancing Argan Oil and moisture infusing Macadamia Nut Oil provides the perfect solution for soft, healthy, luxurious hair. The ultimate hair treatment in your home.


Benefits
  • Doesn't leave 'Build Up' on the Hair
  • Leaves No 'Residue' on the Hair
  • Gives you 'Vibrant Shine'
  • Makes your Hair 'Silky Soft'
  • Seals in 'Shine'
  • Used regularly 'Increases Elasticity'
  • Penetrates the 'Cuticle'
  • Suitable for ALL hair types


David Babaii Absolute Hydration Shampoo & Conditioner
RRP $19.95, davidbabaii.com.au, Priceline stores nationally and TVSN




















I haven't used David Babaii products for some time now, but it's always great to use them again.  I purchased a pack of products, which included the Absolute Hydration & Conditioner, and I hope to review them all down the track in more detail..  David Babaii is a world famous celebrity hairstylist, who donates a significant amount of profits from this range to WildAid.  This range is actually made in Australia (yay!), and has recently undergone a major transformation in both packaging and formulation.

All the info from David Babaii

Absolute Hydration Shampoo and Absolute Hydration ConditionerA beauty bath for thirsty hair. Formulated using Moringa and Jojoba Oil, the creamy lather works to replenish the hair’s natural moisture balance to create lustrous radiance. Aloe Vera extracts and Wheat Proteins strengthen and nourish. Phyto Stem Cell extract is incorporated to revitalize damaged tresses.


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Hair Colour Products

There are few products that have been released this year to help make colouring and the period in between colouring a bit easier. 


ColorWOW Root Cover Up
RRP $49.95 at Hairhouse Warehouse.  Also available at TVSN (variable prices)











I saw this product featured on TVSN and it looks impressive.  It's a touch up product for re-growth of not only block colour, but also highlights and streaks.  I like the design of the brush in this palette - it has a dual end, and you can use the brush either along its length or width depending on the type of application you want.  It is available in 4 colours - blonde, light brown, medium brown and dark brown.  


All the info from ColorWOW





















For the first time you can cover up dreaded roots and re-growth quickly and easily – with no mess – for perfect results in under a minute. Color Wow Root Cover Up not only covers roots seamlessly, but even camouflages re-growth in lightened/highlighted hair.

Keep your hair in a permanent state of perfection! This unique, professional powder styling compound adheres to hair without being sticky or oily and without dulling. Dramatically extend the time between coloring…No telltale roots means no one will ever know that you color your hair!

• Apply to dry hair 
• Camouflage roots instantly
• Color hair less often 
• Fast & easy; No mess 
• Perfect results in under a minute 
• Water-resistant 
• Lasts from shampoo to shampoo 
• Available in 4 versatile shades 
• Professional formula 
• 60 Application kit

For best results: Start with dry/styled hair. The enclosed dual-tipped brush lets you customize your Cover Up application. Apply to roots, starting at the scalp and working out. Repeat until roots disappear. Then apply to temples and any other grey hair as needed.

Root Cover Up can also be used to extend the life of highlights/streaks. Using the small side of the brush, apply to re-growth until roots are camouflaged.





Schwarzkopf Ultimate Colour 






















In recent years, I have chosen to colour my hair at home rather than going to the salon.  So have always been on the lookout for a product that is easy to apply, and easy to reapply when needed for regrowth.  So when I saw the new Schwarzkopf Ultimate Colour available, I thought I would give it ago. 

It is a mousse formulation, that has 2 separate chambers - one with the colour and one with the developer.  When you press the pump, it dispenses a bit out of each chamber, which you mix in your hand.  Because the two components are separate, the product can be reused again in up to 6 months.  I have actually recently coloured my hair with it, and will post a separate detailed review soon.


All the info from Schwarzkopf

A Hair Colour Revolution

Ultimate Colour is the first ever multi-usage permanent colour foam, which can be applied without mixing and can be used more than once. This groundbreaking new product will take the stress and mess out of home hair colouring. The multiple application design means that Ultimate Colour will provide one full-head application and one regrowth application after four weeks. The remaining unused product can easily be stored until needed for an exact colour match. Not only will Schwarzkopf Ultimate Colour give you vibrant, salon standard colour, but also an intensive care conditioner with liquid keratin that regenerates the hair structure for strong and healthy looking shine.




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Hair styling tools & accessories

Most of the time, I wear my hair up in some way, shape or form.  I have curly/wavy hair which I tend to straighten every time, as I find it is much easier to style and place in an up style, whether that be a ponytail or a bun.  However, having thick hair makes it frustrating sometimes to be able to get my hair up in place and have it look neat and tidy, and also get it to stay like that for a few hours.  So I am always on the lookout for styling tools and accessories which make this process easier.

A brand called Scunci have a great range of hair accessories to help create different hair looks.  One particular product that has caught my eye are the Scunci Pin Twirls (RRP $9.95), which help to create an updo (such as a bun) and keep it securely in place.  

For a full review of these Scunci products, click here




Their range also includes products such as No Slip Grip Bobby Pins (RRP $8.95) and No Damage Elastics (RRP $7.95).




Scunci products are available in Priceline, Big W, Target & selected Salons & Pharmacies Australia wide. Scunci Styling Tools are also available in David Jones.


Have you tried any of the products mentioned?  Let me know below!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

OPI Euro Centrale Collection - review & swatches


Euro Centrale was OPI's spring/summer 2013 collection launch.  The location inspiration for this collection centres around central-eastern European locations, like Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.  There is a bit of a mix of cremes, shimmers, metallic-foil shimmers, and a glitter. 



All the info from OPI


Euro Centrale by OPI is a celebration of one of the world’s richest sources of creative talent for centuries, and especially one of the areas of cultural awakening emerging from this region: fashion. Gothic historical churches alongside modern public buildings punctuated with vibrant graffiti murals are the perfect backdrop for modern fashion design to make its entrance. Young designers present their most avant-garde creations at fashion shows held in museums, designs to rival anything from Paris or Milan.

This fusion of "old meets new" perfectly illustrates how times have changed. Technological advances help us achieve the "have it all" lifestyle – family, career, civic duty, and now, what has become most fundamental — time to nourish ourselves, with a stronger focus on nutrition, exercise, and spiritual growth. As a result, our lives have become fuller, richer. We are no longer defined so much by what we do for a living, but how we live, including how we colour our lives to reflect our passions.

For some, it’s glamour that defines us. It shines outward in the way bold metallics shine in luxurious shades of gold (OY–Another Polish Joke!), bronze (Hands Off My Kielbasa!), and copper (A Woman’s Prague-ative).

For others, we were born to play – whether it’s physical sports, playing with our families, or simply having a playful attitude. We live in bright, happy shades like warm pink (Suzi’s Hungary AGAIN!), periwinkle purple (You’re Such a BudaPest), aqua (Can’t Find My Czechbook), fiery red (My Paprika is Hotter than Yours!), and glittery blues and violets (Polka.com).

And then there are those of us with an "indie" approach to life, deep thinkers who are drawn to colours just as profound. Bottomless ocean indigo (OPI...Eurso Euro), midnight blue (I Saw…U Saw…We Saw…Warsaw), and aubergine (Vant to Bite My Neck?) appeal to us. Finally, some of us choose to remain neutral, allowing us to move freely through the world, but for them, neutral isn’t boring...it’s exciting (My Vampire is Buff)!


As significant as colour, nail design continues to be an important element in fashion, acting as accessories as prominent as jewelry. By experimenting with application designs and exploring in new directions, nail fashion heights are limited only by imagination and daring.





My Review & Swatches


You're Such A Budapest





















This could either be described as pale lilac with a slight blue undertone, or periwinkle   It has a very subtle silver shimmer through it, but it isn't visible on the nails, so it ultimately looks like a creme shade. 

Below is a comparison swatch of some of the other OPI lilac shades I have.  They are all different to You're Such A Budapest.


Rumples Wiggin (index), Done Out In Deco (middle),
You're Such A Budapest (ring), Do You Lilac It (thumb)

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L-R: Rumples Wiggin, Done Out In Deco, Do You Lilac It,
You're Such A Budapest














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OPI...Eurso Euro





















Indigo creme.  It actually photographs more blue than it actually is, but in real life, the purple undertones are more noticeable.  I wish it actually appeared more like this in real life - more blue and vivid.  Still, it's a beautiful colour.

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Polka.com (over Your'e Such A Budapest)





















Polka.com has a mixture of hexagonal glitter and fine glitter in aqua, pink and a blue with a slight purple undertone, in a clear base.  You can see from my photo that depending on the lighting angle, the glitter can throw variations of shades from the same colour family as the main three colours in the polish.  As with other OPI glitters with the larger pieces of glitter such as the hexagonal pieces, I find that the best way to apply is to lay the brush flat on the nails and dab the glitter on.   I really like this one - when I look at it from a distance, for some reason it reminds me of different colours of paint that have been splattered on a canvas.  


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Can't Find My Czechbook
































This shade is an aqua creme, but it has a slightly muted and dusty undertone to it, so it isn't overly bright.  Depending on the lighting conditions, it sometimes looks more green toned or more blue toned.

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OY-Another Polish Joke!





































Yellow gold foil shimmer.  This formula is actually on the sheer side - I have swatched it with 2 coats, but could have easily gone for a 3rd coat for more opacity.   The thing that surprised me with this shade/formulation is that it didn't have that high shine/reflect that I would have normally expected from a shade like this - it's almost matte.

I thought that it might be a dupe of GoldenEye from the Skyfall Collection, but they are different - GoldenEye is less yellow toned and is more dense than OY-Another Polish Joke.  GoldenEye is also more metallic looking, as it has more reflect.

OY-Another Polish Joke
GoldenEye (Skyfall collection)


I found the formula to be great with this collection - everything applied evenly and with intensity.  The foil-shimmer shade was a bit more sheer than I thought, so needs an extra layer or two if you want opacity.  This would be the same for the other foil shimmer shade in the collection (A Woman's Prague-ative).  But overall, the formulation in this collection is good.

Official Website: www.opi.com

Saturday, 20 July 2013

BYS Blush Trio - review, swatches & blush application tips





As I have mentioned in a previous post about blush, I am a self-confessed blush phobic.  I have never been very comfortable wearing blush - firstly due to the natural redness I have on my cheeks, and secondly out of fear of looking like a clown.  However, there is no doubt that blush can make such a huge difference to the face - including giving an instant facelift, so I am slowly trying to wear blush more and more.  I have been doing a bit of learning about blush application, so that I can learn about the best way to apply.  BYS have just released a range of blush trios, which I thought I would give a go as a step forward in my "blush phobia recovery."

All the info from BYS

These new BYS Blushers have a lightweight formula that is highly pigmented and easy to apply.  BYS Blusher Trios are easily blendable allowing you to use one colour alone or blend the three shades ot create a hue of your own.  With this many possibilities you can highlight, define and shade the perfect cheekbones for your skintone.  With 4 palettes in the range, we have covered bronzed and beautiful with Coral Me In, bold and fresh with On The Bright Side, playfully peach with Endless Summer and understated dusky pink shades with Heart Skipped A Beat.



Tips for use: Apply the colours individually or blend them together to create different finishes.  Use the darker shades to create shadows and the lighter shade to highlight, to really emphasise your cheekbones.


My Review

The size of this blush palette is impressive - I was expecting something much smaller, but it's quite a decent size.The colour I have for review is called 'Coral Me In.'  I thought that for someone like me who isn't overly comfortable with blush, a coral or bronze toned blush would be the best choice.  Coral Me In has a tangerine orange, a copper to bronze tone with a subtle golden shimmer, and a red toned coral.  












For each colour, there are two swatches - the left swatch is the colour applied with an eyeshadow brush (which shows the colour densely), and the right swatch is how the colour appears when applied with a blush brush, so this is a more accurate representation of how it will appear on the cheeks.


The tangerine orange shade is much more subtle when applied
with a blush brush - it becomes a peachy/apricot

The middle shade appears bronze in the palette,
but when applied becomes more of a dusty rose

The red coral shade is the most intensely pigmented one -
less is more with this one!

The colours in these blush trios can either be used on their own, or mixed to create the desired shade.  Below is a swatch of the three colours blended together, but because of the intense pigment of the red-coral shade, I only lightly dipped into it.

Combination of the 3 shades


I personally prefer a mixture of the orange and bronzey shade, or the bronzey shade alone, as these are the colours that I feel most comfortable wearing.  I recommend that after dipping the brush into the colour, turn the brush handle-side down and give it a tap - this helps to push the colour into the bristles, and minimise fallout of the blush onto the lower part of the face.  


I like to apply blush by swirling the brush on the apples of the cheek (while smiling), and then heading upward towards the ear.  This way, most of the colour is deposited on the apple of the cheek, and you get just a slight hint of the blush on the cheekbone, and don't get that round spot of blush on the cheek only (which can potentially give a clown-face look).  I also find that if you apply a bit of blush further away from the apples of the cheeks, it takes away the pure focus from the cheeks.  I also like to use a wide, soft bristled powder brush, as this helps give a lighter application.


The middle bronzey copper shade
applied over mineral powder foundation


The verdict: A nicely pigmented trio of blush colour, which is generous in size, so that a blush brush can easily be dipped into each individual colour, or can be blended to produce the desired colour.  The red-coral in this palette might not be for someone who is starting out with using blush, but the orange and the bronze shade are more softer, and can be applied lightly or built up to a more intense colour.  


Stockists: K-Mart, Gloss Accessories, Cosmetics Plus, Ice Accessories, selected pharmacies and specialty stores, or online at www.fashionaddict.com.au  

Official Website: www.bys.com.au


These products were generously provided for consideration, and has been reviewed in accordance with Chic Beauty's Disclosure Policy.  All thoughts and opinions expressed are the author's own.